Wednesday Wines – Episode 55

Episode 55 – 14th April 2021

The new rosé releases from Domaine des Diables

Made in Provence*

all from Lea & Sandeman tel. 020 7244 0522 & www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

From the L&S website – ‘Domaine des Diables – ‘the devils’- is owned and run by Guillaume and Virginie Philip, and is the home of the MiP* (Made in Provence*) labels as well as Les Petits Diables and Rosé BonBon. Virginie and Guillaume met at Montpellier wine school, and their first production, based on grapes from Virginie’s father’s vineyard at the foot of The Mont Saint Victoire, was in 2006, from the 2005 vintage. L&S has been their sole UK importer since the 2007 vintage.’

Lea & Sandeman has championed the MiP rosés for years and this year I was lucky to taste every single wine in the line-up.  They are all worthy of investigation and they are all subtly different and also fascinating.

2020 Les Petits Diables Rosé, Côtes de Provence £13.95, reduced to £12.50 each by the case www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

60% Syrah, 20% Cinsault, 20% Grenache

Super clean, fresh, lifted and bright, this is an easy wine with cantaloupe melon and rhubarb notes.  17/20

2020 Rosé BonBon, Côtes de Provence Sainte Victoire £17.95, reduced to £15.95 each by the case www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

50% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache

Ultra-pale and ‘white-wine-shaped’, this is a terrifically refreshing and clean style with a super-classy feel about it.  Stick to aperitif duties or lighter dishes like sushi and sashimi because this is a rapier-sharp wine as opposed to a foodier number.  I love the design, too!  17.5/20

2020 MiP* Classic Rosé, Côtes de Provence £14.95, reduced to £13.50 each by the case www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

60% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, 20% Grenache

This is the most well-known wine in the range and I also think it is the most accomplished all-rounder, too.  With a little more flesh and succulence this is certainly a jack of all trades and it is super value, too.  18/20

2020 MiP* Collection Rosé, Côtes de Provence £17.50, reduced to £15.50 each by the case www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

60% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Rolle

The square-shouldered bottle doesn’t do it for me and while this is supposed to be a cut above the ‘Classic’, I find it is seemingly trying a little too hard.  A little too reserved and very dry, I am sure it will grow with a little more age, but I would like it to be at the top of its game right now, given we are in April!  17.5/20

2020 L’Hydropathe, Élite Rosé, Côtes de Provence Sainte Victoire £20.95, reduced to £18.95 each by the case www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

60% Syrah, 40% Grenache

A little more obscure, spicy and awkward, this is another wine that is a little closed and a little more structured and it certainly needs some time to iron out its acidity.  I am not mad about the bottle shape either, but I know loads of people love its daring!  Strangely, I think this is a wine that will taste more balanced in twelve months than it does now (hence the ‘plus’ in the score).  But either way, it certainly makes an impression.  17.5+/20

2019 Rose des Bois, Côtes de Provence £33.95, reduced to £29.95 each by the case www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

60% Syrah, 40% Grenache and aged for 9 months in demi-muids

This is certainly an impressive wine and given it handles the oak well and has one more year of age under its belt.  It looks the part and while it costs a fair whack there is a lot of wine to hang onto here and it gives you a main course rosé to play with instead of reaching for a bottle of red wine.  18/20

AND not forgetting another Lea & Sandeman classic –

2020 Domaine St. Felix Rosé, Cuvée Pierre Martin, Pays d’Hérault £8.95, reduced to £7.95 each by the case www.leaandsandeman.co.uk

While this wine is not part of the MiP* family, it is still a stalwart rosé in the L&S cellar and I have followed it for a good few years.  Delicious, spot-on, smooth and perky it is incredibly rare to find a wine at this price with this amount of flair and integrity! If you are looking to host a party this summer when we are all released from our homes and save a few quid, too, then Felix will not let you down!  17/20